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ansible

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Member since: Fri Jul 1, 2016, 03:42 PM
Number of posts: 746

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Overnight in Walmart Parking Lots: Silence, Solace and Refuge

Be grateful for having a home to even spend Thanksgiving at. There are still people right now who are far worse off.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/14/us/walmart-parking-rv.html

As night falls, the motels and R.V. parks along America’s highways begin to fill up with travelers needing a place for the night.

But to untold thousands of motorists each year — some with a sense of adventure, others looking to save a buck, still more with no other place to go — Walmart is often a willing host for overnight guests.

“It’s not pretty: no pine trees, no bubbling brook, no ocean beach,” Chuck Woodbury, the editor of RVTravel.com, said in a tutorial video intended for casual travelers. “The idea of staying at Walmart is to park for the night, to get some sleep and then move on.”

Walmart’s practice of letting people populate many of its parking lots has made the retail giant’s stores a reliable, if somewhat improvised, destination and a place where an informal culture emerges before and after dark.



The government is seizing licenses of people who default on student loans

Fall behind on your student loan payments, lose your job. Few people realize that the loans they take out to pay for their education could eventually derail their careers. But in 19 states, government agencies can seize state-issued professional licenses from residents who default on their educational debts. Another state, South Dakota, suspends driver’s licenses, making it nearly impossible for people to get to work.

As debt levels rise, creditors are taking increasingly tough actions to chase people who fall behind on student loans. Going after professional licenses stands out as especially punitive. Firefighters, nurses, teachers, lawyers, massage therapists, barbers, psychologists and real estate brokers have all had their credentials suspended or revoked.

Determining the number of people who have lost their licenses is impossible because many state agencies and licensing boards don’t track the information. Public records requests by The New York Times identified at least 8,700 cases in which licenses were taken away or put at risk of suspension in recent years, although that tally almost certainly understates the true number.

Shannon Otto, who lives in Nashville, can pinpoint the moment that she realized she wanted to be a nurse. She was 16, shadowing her aunt who worked in an emergency room. She gaped as a doctor used a hand crank to drill a hole into a patient’s skull. She wanted to be part of the action.

It took years of school and thousands of dollars of loans, but she eventually landed her dream job, in Tennessee, a state facing a shortage of nurses. Then, after working for more than a decade, she started having epileptic seizures. They arrived without warning, in terrifying gusts. She couldn’t care for herself, let alone anyone else. Unable to work, she defaulted on her student loans.

Ms. Otto eventually got her seizures under control, and prepared to go back to work and resume payments on her debt. But Tennessee’s Board of Nursing suspended her license after she defaulted. To get the license back, she said, she would have to pay more than $1,500. She couldn’t.

“I absolutely loved my job, and it seems unbelievable that I can’t do it anymore,” Ms. Otto said.

With student debt levels soaring — the loans are now the largest source of household debt outside of mortgages — so are defaults. Lenders have always pursued delinquent borrowers: by filing lawsuits, garnishing their wages, putting liens on their property and seizing tax refunds. Blocking licenses is a more aggressive weapon, and states are using it on behalf of themselves and the federal government.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/18/business/student-loans-licenses.html

Man arrested after punching woman over apparent 'manspreading' comment on subway

BENSONHURST, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A man has been arrested after reportedly punching a woman in the face over a 'manspreading' complaint on the subway in Manhattan.

Derek Smith, 56, was arrested and charged with assault on Saturday evening.

Samantha Saia said the ordeal started as soon as she took a seat next to the man on an N train in Bensonhurst during the morning commute.

"He started pushing me and manspreading me into the wall," Saia said.

That's when Saia said he turned violent.

"He told me expletive, you expletive, I've raped white b****** like you before. You're nothing and then he elbowed me," she said.

So she said she put her earbuds back in and then it turned even uglier.

"He said 'Don't ignore me. I felt this.' I turned around and bam, I banged my head into a wall. And at that point I just felt blood gushing."

Her lip was bruised, swollen and bloodied.

But it could have been worse if a Good Samaritan didn't step in, and that's when a passenger on the train started recording.

The Good Samaritan jumped in and confronted the subway attacker. He forced the man to exit the train at the next stop.

http://abc7ny.com/man-arrested-after-punching-woman-over-apparent-manspreading-comment/2667562/

Tech, housing boom creates homeless crisis on West Coast

Can we talk about this for once? It just keeps getting worse and worse with each passing year with no end in sight!

SEATTLE (AP) — Housing prices are soaring here thanks to the tech industry, but the boom comes with a consequence: A surge in homelessness marked by 400 unauthorized tent camps in parks, under bridges, on freeway medians and along busy sidewalks. The liberal city is trying to figure out what to do. "I've got economically zero unemployment in my city, and I've got thousands of homeless people that actually are working and just can't afford housing," said Seattle City Councilman Mike O'Brien. "There's nowhere for these folks to move to."

That struggle is not Seattle's alone. A homeless crisis is rocking the entire West Coast, pushing abject poverty into the open like never before. Public health is at risk, several cities have declared states of emergency, and cities and counties are spending millions — in some cases billions — in a search for solutions. San Diego now scrubs its sidewalks with bleach to counter a deadly hepatitis A outbreak. In Anaheim, 400 people sleep along a bike path in the shadow of Angel Stadium. Organizers in Portland lit incense at an outdoor food festival to cover up the stench of urine in a parking lot where vendors set up shop.

Homelessness is not new on the West Coast. But interviews with local officials and those who serve the homeless in California, Oregon and Washington — coupled with an Associated Press review of preliminary homeless data — confirm it's getting worse.
People who were once able to get by, even if they suffered a setback, are now pushed to the streets because housing has become so expensive. All it takes is a prolonged illness, a lost job, a broken limb, a family crisis. What was once a blip in fortunes now seems a life sentence.


http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Homeless-explosion-on-West-Coast-pushing-cities-12334291.php

Canadian restaurant run by HIV-positive staff aims to smash stigma

A group of Canadian gourmets is hoping to smash misconceptions about HIV transmission one plate at the time by opening a pop-up restaurant run entirely by staff infected with the virus. Located in Toronto, the restaurant called June's on Tuesday was serving its first meals prepared by HIV-positive cooks to dispel any notion that food preparation can spread the virus.

Wearing aprons printed with such messages as "Kiss the HIV+ cook" and "I got HIV from pasta. Said no one ever," June's 14 HIV-positive cooks will be serving customers who prepaid to reserve their tables. The idea of June's came in response to a survey last month that found only half of Canadians would eat food prepared by someone with HIV.

The survey was conducted by Casey House, a non-profit that planned the pop-up, or temporary, restaurant, said the group's head Joanne Simons. Casey House provides health care for people with HIV/AIDS. HIV is spread when infected fluid enters the bloodstream, but not by sharing food, according to health authorities.

June's will be open just two days, serving 200 customers who bought reserved tickets for C$125 ($98), Simons said. The tickets sold out in less than two weeks and, with such strong demand, another restaurant run by HIV-positive staff may be in the offing, she said.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/08/canadian-restaurant-run-hiv-positive-staff-aims-smash-stigma/

26 teenage girls found dead at Mediterranean sea

Source: CNN

(CNN)Italian authorities have launched an investigation into the cause of death of 26 teenage girls whose bodies were recovered in the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday. The girls, aged 14-18, are believed to have been migrants from Niger and Nigeria who had embarked on the treacherous route to Europe from Libya over the weekend.

Lorena Ciccotti, Salerno's head of police, told CNN that autopsies would be carried out on Tuesday and that coroners would be investigating whether the girls had been tortured or sexually abused. Their bodies were found close to a flimsy rubber dinghy that had all but sunk when rescuers arrived, Ciccotti said. Aid workers had described a grim scene: survivors hanging onto the remains of the vessel as the girls' bodies floated nearby.

Their rescue was one of four separate rescue operations carried out in the Mediterranean over the weekend. In total, 400 people were brought aboard the Spanish vessel Cantabria before disembarking at the Italian port town of Salerno. Among them were 90 women and 52 minors, including a week-old-baby, authorities said.


Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/11/06/europe/26-teenage-migrants-dead-at-sea/index.html

Bitcoin price hits $7400, jumps $400 in one day and soars to a new record high



Bitcoin skyrocketed past $7,400 on Friday, hitting yet another record high.

The virtual currency had shot past the $7,000 mark for the first time Thursday and finished on $6,895.41 toward the end of the session.

According to CoinDesk, the cryptocurrency reached a renewed all-time high of $7,454.04 at 6:40 a.m. ET Friday, after opening at $7,030. The jump in price saw bitcoin rise 6 percent.

Analysts believe more institutional investors could warm to the digital token after derivatives operator CME Group announced it would introduce bitcoin futures contracts this year.

"This is bitcoin crossing the divide from the wild west of finance to the mainstream," Charles Hayter, CEO of cryptocurrency comparison website Crypto Compare, told CNBC in an email Thursday.

"Futures from an incumbent exchange bring bitcoin and cryptocurrencies into the regulatory fold. This allows more complex financial products to be created and will eventually open the doors to institutional money."

CME's futures will be cash-settled and based on the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate (BRR), launched in November last year with Crypto Facilities, a digital cryptocurrency trading platform.

The bullish activity that followed CME's announcement also saw the total value of all cryptocurrencies surge past $200 billion for the first time. The market cap of bitcoin alone is more than $124 billion.

Bitcoin's price has risen 640 percent since the start of the year.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/03/bitcoin-price-hits-yet-another-record-high.html

Its okay to be white signs and stickers appear on campuses and streets across the country

Source: Washington Post

Posters proclaiming “IT’S OKAY TO BE WHITE” have been appearing on college campuses and on city streets across the country this week, prompted by an anonymous chat-room comment that suggested the message would feed social unrest and sway white Americans to far-right ideologies.

Since Tuesday, the posters have been spotted in Rocky River, Ohio; at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn.; at Tulane University in New Orleans; at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Md.; around college-campus rich Cambridge, Mass., including the Harvard Yard and at the University of Alberta in Canada. In most cases, schools and cities have pulled the posters down, but the message has continued to spread in images and hashtags across Twitter and other social media platforms, even prompting a related Know Your Meme entry detailing its Internet origins and cultural backstory.

The signs began as a suggestion on the online chat space 4chan last month, a kind of Internet prank laced with ennui and cynicism about race and white identity in modern-day America.



Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/11/03/its-okay-to-be-white-signs-and-stickers-appear-on-campuses-and-streets-across-the-country/?utm_term=.20c6132a5dfd

London: Girl, 17, 'suffers three separate sex attacks' on way home from night out

Source: Telegraph

A 17-year-old girl was sexually assaulted three times by three separate men within an hour in an “unprecedented” and gravely traumatising ordeal.

The teenager was walking home from a nightclub in Tower Hamlets, east London, when she was targeted by the men in quick succession.

The local authority announced on Friday that it was investing £3million to put an additional 19 officers on the streets in the crime-ridden borough after losing almost 200 officers in seven years due to government cuts.

Police said there was absolutely no link between the “opportunistic” attacks on the teenager, two of which were described as very serious, possibly rape. The third suspect may have been part of a group.

Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/13/girl-17-suffers-three-separate-sex-attacks-way-home-night/

O.J. Simpson walks out of prison after 9 years

Source: CNN

(CNN)O.J. Simpson walked out of prison early Sunday after serving nine years for a Las Vegas armed robbery, a Nevada corrections official said.

The former NFL star left prison shortly after midnight local time, and was picked up by a friend, Nevada Department of Corrections spokeswoman Brooke Keast said.

"I told him, 'don't 'come back,' and he responded, 'I don't intend to, '" she said. "He was upbeat, personable, and seemed happy to get on with his life."



Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/01/us/oj-simpson-released-from-prison/index.html
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